The Shadow of Wall Street (Street & Smith)
Author Frank S. Lawton
Illustrator Unknown
Publication date February 1929
Published by Street & Smith
Publication Order
Preceded by
Followed by


John Hayden, a new hire at the Moore & Calhoun stockbroker firm on Wall Street, unknowingly becomes a pawn in a high-stakes cat and mouse game between a secretive group of stock financiers and a mysterious, masked saboteur known only as The Shadow of Wall Street.


John Hayden, a real estate clerk from Morchester, moves into New York City to pursue his dream career on Wall Street. He meets a man, later known as Compton Moore, who hires him onto his stockbroker firm, Moore & Calhoun. Hayden works his way up to a secretive secretarial job for the firm's partners, Moore and Hiram Calhoun.

Under Calhoun's instruction, Hayden accompanies him to a secret meeting of high-rolling financiers. Calhoun and the financiers reveal their plans to manipulate the New York Stock Exchange in their favor and to thwart the efforts of the mysterious Shadow of Wall Street, an urban legend among the firms and banks who has been counter-manipulating the stocks in favor of small-time investors who would be ruined in the financiers' plans.

Hayden's friend from Morchester, Basil Darrow, is nearly ruined in an investment on one of the stocks the financiers had targeted in their plans. Hayden turns to Moore, the more respectable of his two bosses, for financial advice for Darrow. Moore instructs Hayden to have Darrow stick with his investment despite the downturn.

In a second meeting of the financiers, it's revealed that the stock's downturn was not a part of their plan and suspect The Shadow's interference. Hayden, who was instructed by Calhoun to take notes during the meeting, jots down the true names of the mysterious financiers, who dispatch with the secrecy. When one of them, Peter Folstrom, discovers Hayden secretly taking notes of the meeting, he catches Hayden and everyone but Calhoun acts as if he's a spy. At that moment, The Shadow appears and whisks the notes away.

Hayden slips away in the ruckus and escapes to Moore's apartment, where he tells Moore about the secret meeting. Before Hayden leaves, Moore instructs Hayden to have Darrow sell his stock shares at a certain value and to invest in another stock up to a certain value. Hayden notices some gray cloth hidden beneath a carpet in the apartment and stealthily whisks it away under suspicion. As Hayden leaves the building, he's snatched by the financiers into a limousine for questioning. As they're about to get away with him, The Shadow appears and saves Hayden from the escaping villains before disappearing again.

The next day, the stock Darrow invested in skyrockets before Hayden has Darrow sell his shares. Immediately after that (and contrary to the financiers' plans), the stock Darrow had sold shares from and the other that Moore wanted Darrow to invest in but didn't crash completely, causing chaos among the brokers and wealthy investors.

Hayden confronts Moore about his suspicion that he is The Shadow based on Moore's financial suggestions and the gray fabric he'd found, which matched the fabric of The Shadow's mask. Moore confirms Hayden's suspicion and reveals his motive. Moore announces his retirement as The Shadow to Hayden, who eventually rises to an executive position at Moore & Calhoun in the end.


Featured Characters:

  • John Hayden

Supporting Characters:


  • Lawrence Spackman (as Number One)
  • Peter Folstrom (as Number Two)
  • Raymond Peek (as Number Three)
  • Benjamin F. Robbins (as Number Four)
  • Henry Graddon (as Number Five)
  • Hiram Calhoun (as Number Six)

Other Characters:

  • Basil Darrow
  • Montrose "Monty" Tanner
  • Carruthers
  • Simmons (Henry Graddon's butler)


  • New York City
  • Wall Street
  • Moore & Calhoun (a stockbroker firm)
  • South Street barracks
  • Long Island
  • Henry Graddon's country home


  • The Shadow's gray mask


  • Limousine



  • While not directly related to Street & Smith's The Shadow, this story was published two years before The Shadow made his debut and bears many resemblances to Walter Gibson's storytelling styles and the archetypal character. It's often been referred to as The Shadow's precursor.
  • This is the one and final time Compton Moore appeared as The Shadow. Frank S. Lawton (real name George C. Jenks) died in September 1939.



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